Not for sale?

The football financing stories just keep on coming, a true joy for any sports journo who doesn’t understand what the hell is going on when it comes to business, save for rich men being allowed to have huge amounts of debt they run up given to another entity, which they then leave behind with them when they decide to bugger off back to whatever hole it is they came from.

This time there’s been another twist in the Manchester United saga. As you may remember, United fans are none too happy with the Glazer ownership, which caused huge protests so vociferous that a large minority of fans formed their own club, FC United of Manchester, rather than pay the Glazers any more of their money.

Now however, there could be a leadership challenge at the club, as according to The Guardian a group of wealthy businessmen calling themselves the Red Knights have met to discuss buying it. The Glazers have said that the club is ‘not for sale’ (ironically that’s exactly what United fans said when they bought it), but the group, which is said to be mostly United fans (including Jim O’Neill, Manchester-born and a lifelong Red, as well as chief economist at Goldman Sachs) is apparently confident of being able to raise the £1billion required.

United are currently carrying debts of £716million, and next year alone £172million could be taken out to service the Glazer’s astronomical borrowings, so it’s understandable that fans might be confident in the Knights to come in and do the right thing, especially given that they would apparently be prepared to give the fans a place on the board. Whether they will be able to buy the club or not is another matter, however. Watch this space.

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